Monday, September 8, 2014
Hello all, back to post a few FO's and blog on one of my favorite (and sometimes frustrating) patterns: Anna and Heidi's Pickles Patterns of Oslo, Norway. The patterns started out as a blog between these two women and their baby and children patterns were so cute and became so popular that they became a business: selling the patterns and also the wool to make them with. Their site sells wool packs with patterns or patterns only. If you live in Northern Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries, the shipping isn't too bad. If you live overseas like in North America, the shipping can be daunting.
I was over in Norway in July/2012 about 80km SW of Oslo for 3 weeks, visiting my pen pal. Although I had driven with her through Oslo, she was reticent in stopping in Oslo to shop, since she was an elderly lady and did not want to be there come nightfall. Can't blame her. I feel the same way of all big cities the world over. They can be dangerous. I also didn't want to take the train into Oslo alone for, even though the Norwegians are most polite and know English, I'd rather have a companion with me while in a large city, especially if you don't know your way around. So therefore, I didn't have the chance to seek out the Pickles store, or see and touch the wool, or possibly even chat with the 2 women, if even they have been there.
Knitting garments are my favorite. I do not do much in the way of mittens, hats scarves, cowls, capelets, although I have done a few. I have done 4 garments from the Pickles repertoire: the Swing Skirt, the I <3 Me Jumper, the Day Job Dress: (frogged) and the Topp 10. The Swing Skirt was pretty straight forward. If I made it slightly big, the elastic waist would draw it in. It said to make an I cord hem which I didn't care for the looks of, so I crochet a lacy edging to the hem instead. Overall, I was happy with the outcome. I also was happy with the outcome with the I <3 Me Jumper, but if I remember correctly, I cast on the amount of stitches for front and back the usual amount for worsted weight yarn that I used, for my body size and didn't follow their cast on directions because the heart pattern at the top would have no decreases until the neck whereas, it would be uniform for all sizes, no matter what yarn weight or size you chose. I did have to make a modification at the neck because at the finishing point, the neckline would have been hanging on the edges of either side of my shoulders. So to remedy that, I place markers on the center top of either sleeve at the last row of straight stockinette stitch and k2 tog between those 2 markers and after the 2nd marker, I k1 until the end, thus drawing up the neck a bit and having a better fit. I would then do a k1, p1 ribbing for the neckband.
The Office Skjole/Dress I had to completely frog. I went according to my bust size and adjusted the needles accordingly, added a few inches length at the waist line before you knitted the smaller portion in tiny needles, (for I have a long torso) but with the underarm increases, made the dress look like a potato sack on me. No amount of drawing it in at the waist with a belt and puffing it out over the belt would help. It appears that if you're not as slim as a green bean and have very little bust, these patterns aren't going to work because the only measurements given in most, if not all of their adult patterns only give the bust size and then the overall length. That is not helpful for those who are very busty but their measurements are smaller in their waist and hips. I have bought jumpers from manufacturers that design the garment in such a way that, if you are a 48 inch bust, you must be 48 inches all the way down in waist and hips and you must be built like a barrel. Not so! I was a professional seamstress most of my life and when I did a garment, I needed the bust, waist and hips of the person to even begin to sew a garment for them, not to mention sleeve length, etc. So these adult patterns on Pickles need more than just a bust measurement and finished length. Even with the tapering on either sides didn't make a difference with my 4th project, the Topp 10. I think I even went down a few sizes to ensure it would fit but still, even with correct gauge and needles, it is bigger than I wanted it to be, but doable. I am now glad that I did not do the increases as per the pattern. I instead cast on more stitches for the sleeves on either side so they would be closer to the underarm. I like my garment to be semi fitted, not sack-like. I have one more Pickles project (Topp-ned-Topp) on the needles, but then after that is finished, that is it with following Pickles knitting instructions according to Hoyle. I will go according to my personal measurements for a particular yarn and then modify accordingly. Only way I can get most all patterns to fit me. Good thing I didn't purchase any yarn packs with the patterns. Not only would I be out of a lot of money for the yarn but frogging yarn and reusing it renders it more difficult to use the next time in another garment. If you live close to their shop and can get help from their shop keepers then I believe you can have success with most of their patterns. I come from a country where there is no knitting tradition and was not taught in the schools and probably hasn't been in over 60 years. Glad that in the last 30 years, it has been making a comeback but not by way of the school systems. Happy knitting!